The Things in Me: Collected Essays

We are never just the sum of the people and objects that come into our life, but without these, life itself would fail to hold meaning. We inscribe our existence on the things that we hold, and the people and experiences that we hold dear. Somewhere in the strange regions, between neural impulses, memory and material reality are the symbols that allow us to remember who we are, every day.

“The Things in Me” writing activity is an exercise in building prose from the simplest ‘materials.’ Good writing is just that: the ability to write with whatever things you already possess.

Tick Tock

There was a time when we gave up on the lost cause. None of us could tell the time unless someone had their gadget on. Every now and then my siblings and I would bug our parents, asking for the time. We thought of buying a new clock but there was something so special about your design.

This literary piece is written by Elisha Lilith S. Aguinaldo.

While the Kettle Sings

“My family is addicted to coffee, so there is always a kettle full of water being boiled throughout the day. Thermoses never kept the water hot for that long, so my father in particular would always want a freshly boiled batch for his instant coffee.”

This literary piece is written by Jay-ar G. Paloma.

The Fright of Stairs

“Let me tell you that our flight of stairs is long, narrow, and dark, and the chances of me dying in it is quite high. But I was too dumb to consider that at the time, since I’ve been coming up and down the stairs thousands of times already (thousands more during the pandemic lockdowns), but nothing remotely close to an accident has happened, even when I was drunk, even when the stairs or my feet were wet, and even when I was not holding the handrail in the dark.”

This literary piece is written by Nicolo L. Nasol.

Wishes in a Box

“Folding a thousand paper cranes is said to have the ability to grant a wish. A lot of people, after folding their thousandth crane, probably wish for fame, fortune or even love. I wished for something that seemed nigh unattainable: to fit in.”

This literary piece is written by Laya Rebustillos.

Hele ng mga Boteng Walang Laman

“Lumalala ang pambubugbog habang tayo ay tumatanda—mas matagal maghilom ang mga sugat, mas maiitim ang mga pasa, madalas walang gamot. Hindi ito maiintindihan ng batang lango sa mga pantasya ng kamusmusan. Hindi maiintindihan ng batang ako ang kahalagahan ng isang bote ng alak. Hindi niya maiintindihan kung bakit ang dalawang bote ng GSM na iyon sa ilalim ng rebulto ni Jose Rizal ay nasundan pa, at nasundan pa, at nasundan pa.”

This literary piece is written by Windel Joy Clerigo.

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